Smorgasbord Blog Magazine- #ItalianCookery with Silvia Todesco -GARLIC, OLIVE OIL AND RED PEPPER SPAGHETTI (Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

Delighted that Silvia Todesco will be joining us each month to share one of her delicious Italian recipes.  This month a savoury classic that is a family favourite, very quick and easy to prepare, and I am sure you will enjoy.

Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper Spaghetti…(Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

GARLIC, OLIVE OIL AND RED PEPPER SPAGHETTI (Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

It is pretty known that Italians are people who enjoy life… eating good food, traveling a lot, and having fun both during the weekends and during the week (many people used to have “happy hour” during the week, usually on Wednesday and Friday nights, but lately also during the other days of the week.)

Did you know that Italy is full of discos? Did you know that if you go to a disco in Italy you can never enter before 11:00 pm (or, it would be really embarrassing to arrive any earlier), and music and dancing never starts before 12:30 or 1:00 a.m.?

Yep, it sounds crazy, but this is true. And you are probably wondering at this point, “Why are you telling me about that?”

BECAUSE after a night awake, after you finish dancing at 4.00 a.m., the most important emotions that rage in Italians minds are: 1) they are a little bit tired 🙂 ; 2) they are starving!!!!

And what’s the food most desired by Italians after a night like that?


And at this point you’re probably wondering, why this special dish? And the answer is: because they are cheap, easy and fast to cook, really good for sharing with friends, and for your “night digestion” (especially after one or two drinks too much).

But don’t misunderstand me, I cook this dish for my family at least once a week, and we love it, because it is really delicious!!!

And especially after all the rich festivity meals, why not opt for some food that is more “simple” and “easy” to digest?!

Let’s go find out how to make this new spaghetti sauce recipe. You will be pleasantly surprised by the fact that it will be ready in 20 minutes.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • garlic there is no “requested quantity”,
  • you usually decide how many cloves according to your taste (I usually pick 6-8 garlic cloves)
  • olive oil (again there is no “requested quantity,
  • you usually decide how much olive oil according to your calories tolerance 🙂 (I usually consider 4-6 tbs. olive oil)
  • crushed red pepper to taste (I usually pick about 3 tps.)
  • 2/3 tbs. canned diced tomato (or pieces of fresh tomatoes)
  • basil to taste (dried or fresh, but preferably fresh).
  • sea salt to taste (for the pasta’s water)


The preparation of the sauce takes about the time for the pasta to be cooked, so you don’t need to do anything in advance. All the steps will take not more than 20 minutes.

Put the water in a big pot at medium heat. While you wait for the water to boil, peel off the garlic’s cloves, cut them in two pieces.

(If they have the sprout, take it away because usually the sprout makes the garlic taste a little bitter.)

When the water starts to boil, toss the spaghetti in the water and set the timer for the pasta, as directed on the box. With the sauce pan at medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, the basil.

Let the garlic cook for a while (until it becomes blonde, don’t let it brown!).

When the garlic seems golden, add the diced tomatoes and let the sauce cook for a couple minutes more.

Since your spaghetti should be ready, drain the pasta very well, mix them with the sauce, and serve it!!!

Isn’t it easy?!?


TIPS: – My husband loves garlic, so when I mix the spaghetti to the sauce, I don’t need to take the garlic aside, but if you don’t like eating garlic (but like me, you just like garlic’s flavor), before to mix the spaghetti with the sauce, take the garlic out of the pot: your spaghetti will taste wonderful anyway!!!

– I usually cook this pasta when I’m totally out of other ingredients: it is so easy that rarely I don’t have these few ingredients to make it!

– If you are on a trip to Italy, and you would like to enjoy a simple dish, you can go to whatever restaurant or “trattoria” you want and just ask for an “Aglio e Olio”, and they will immediately know what are you taking about, because this is exactly the way this sauce is known in Italy.

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do, share it, like it, leave a comment, and subscribe to my blog if you would like to receive a new recipe each week for free.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia


Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.

You can find all the recipes for a four course Italian meal in this file and also Silvia’s monthly posts.